Socio-economic assessment of the proposed tourism development at Mount Aux Sources, Eastern Free State, South Africa
Links, Sebiloane Lebotsa
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This study assesses the Potential Socio-economic Impact of the Tlokweng/Sentinel Cableway Development in the Tsheseng Community of Qwaqwa, Eastern Free State, South Africa. The survey was carried out during a month of July 2002, amongst a total of 200 households drawn from a random sampling involving three areas in Tsheseng, namely; Thibella, Dinkweng and Phomolong villages. The villages are located in the former homeland of Qwaqwa in the Eastern Free State (South Africa). In more specific terms, this research aimed at providing a critical examination of the contribution of this project in enhancing the standard of living of the people of Tsheseng (Qwaqwa). To put forward the recommendations on how the perceptions of these people can be integrated into the reality of the project was a challenge. It is also aimed at providing information from the respondents on how they foresee the impact of the project in tourism within the area. The study used both qualitative and quantitative methods in data collection and analysis. Primary and secondary sources of data were used and modem methods were also employed to analyse and draw conclusion from the research. The study's findings indicate that most of the households are not educated. As a result, they lack the capacity to be innovative. The study further revealed that Tsheseng people are far away from the CBD's and industries and as such, they are confined and marginalized through the non-interactive conditions imposed on them in their villages. These indicate a lack of incentives and high unemployment rate because of non-existence of clear and proper development and job opportunities intended to enhance the welfare (social status) of the Tsheseng people and Qwaqwa as a whole. The results further show that the people of Tsheseng acknowledge the fact that the project can be implemented with the hope that it will alleviate the alarming rate of unemployment. If this can be achieved, it will lead to betterment of the lives ofTsheseng people as well as on the tourism development process in South Africa. In conclusion, the study recommends that the cable car should be implemented as one of the flagships (services) of the tourism industry in order to alleviate unemployment and provide better living conditions expected by many people of the world. The study also recommends such a development with a clear understanding that tourism will be ranked amongst the best businesses in the study area and in South Africa as a whole. With this project in hand, some problems such as underdevelopment, poverty, ignorance and isolation could be minimized and tourism will flourish.
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